string is rarely useful as a function argument

Walter Bright newshound2 at
Fri Dec 30 20:09:33 PST 2011

On 12/30/2011 7:30 PM, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
> Yes, diligent programmers will generally find such problems, but with the
> current scheme, it's _so_ easy to use length when you shouldn't, that it's
> pretty much a guarantee that it's going to happen.

I'm not so sure about that. Timon Gehr's X macro tried to handle UTF-8 
correctly, but it turned out that the naive version that used [i] and .length 
worked correctly. This is typical, not exceptional.

This was definitely not true of older multibyte schemes, like Shift-JIS 
(shudder), but those schemes ought to be terminated with extreme prejudice. But 
it definitely will take a long time to live down the bugs and miasma of code 
that had to deal with them. C and C++ still live with that because of their 
agenda of backwards compatibility. They still support EBCDIC, after all, that 
was obsolete even in the 70's. And I still see posts on comp.moderated.c++ that 
say "you shouldn't write string code like that, because it won't work on 
EBCDIC!" Sheesh!

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